Heat From Deep Ocean Fault Punches Hole in Arctic Ice Sheet

Powerful deep Arctic Ocean geological heat flow forces have just sent us a very obvious signal, but are climate scientists listening? The answer is no, however geologists hear it loud and clear!

Figure 1. Recently melted portion of Arctic Sea Ice.Figure 1. Recently melted portion of Arctic sea ice.

As winter begins to settle in across the Arctic Ocean and sea ice extent rapidly expands, a very interesting high temperature and low salinity hole has just been punched in the sea ice at a very telling location: directly above the deep ocean Gakkel Ridge Rift / Fault System (Figures 1, 2, and 3).

This world class plate tectonic pull-apart rift is a 1,000-mile-long fault system on the seafloor that has in recent past pulsed massive amounts of heat into the overlying ocean and thereby melting large portions of the ice that floats above the heated ocean column.

So what if anything is to be learned from the recent October 12 geologically induced deep-ocean floor heat pulse that punched a small hole in the Arctic sea ice? Many things, most of which have surprisingly large implications concerning the entire climate change discussion.

Here is how it works:

Climate scientists who favor the theory of man-made global warming have maintained for many years that the accelerated melting rate of the Arctic sea ice during the 1999-2007 time period was entirely due to man-made CO2 emissions which acted to rapidly warm the atmosphere. This unusual Arctic melting was greater than the melting rate associated with Earth’s ongoing and very normal 11,500-year-long post-glacial period melt rate.

Many climate scientists have begrudgingly stuck to this human-induced atmospheric warming story even though diverse and compelling amounts of data have now cast serious doubt on this hypothesis. It is clear to most scientists that non-atmospheric natural forces play the dominate role in driving sea ice extent and thickness such as well known variations in Earth’s astronomical orbit patterns, long-term cyclic changes in deep-ocean current patterns, and most importantly variations in geologically induced heat and chemically charged fluid flow from deep ocean faults and volcanoes (see previuos CCD posts).

The small geologically induced deep-ocean heat and fluid flow event of October 12 eloquently demonstrates that geological forces are still active and have the power to alter Arctic climate and climate-related events, melt sea ice.

Keep in mind this latest October 12 event is not associated with obvious earthquake swarms and proven volcanic eruptions as was the case during the 1999 – 2007 event. This earlier event was powerful but not obvious to those who did not understand its true nature. Even though it was associated with an extensive low intensity earthquake swarm, a huge methane release, and a significant series of volcanic eruptions along the Gakkel Ridge it was, and still is dismissed as insignificant by most climate scientists advocating the theory of man-made global warming.

However many other scientists now realize that the 1999-2007 Gakkel Ridge heat and chemically charged fluid flow event was the root cause of accelerated the Arctic sea ice melting rate. An event that fits well with the Plate Climatology Theory, geological forces strongly influence climate.

Figure 2. Sea Ice melted area, green dot, shows as low salinity.Figure 2. Sea Ice melted area, green dot, shows as low salinity.

Figure 3.) The October Sea Ice melt location and Gakkel Ridge Rift / Fault Zone.Figure 3.) The October Sea Ice melt location and Gakkel Ridge Rift / Fault Zone.

Next let’s discuss the associated atmospheric methane release from the March 2014 Gakkel Ridge 5.4 magnitude earthquake and the more extensive atmospheric methane release associated with the 1999-2007 Gakkel Ridge mega-heat and fluid pulse.

OK fine. However, what does methane release have to do with melting sea ice? Works like this.

The volume of methane gas seen in the ocean above known fault zones is an indication of the magnitude and duration of heat and fluid flow release along fault zones. These fault zones, such as the Gakkel Ridge, open up fractures which penetrate deep into the earth tapping pockets and layers of methane gas. When a geological event occurs such as an earthquake or movement in a deep rock magma chamber, faults act to provide a vertical escape conduit up and into the overlying ocean for both heat and methane. So more methane equates to more heat.

Importantly huge amounts of methane were noticed in the Arctic Ocean waters during the 1999-2007 time period , especially in the Laptev Sea area.This strengthens the notion that this event also expulsed huge amounts of ice melting heat. The March 2014 5.4 magnitude earthquake along the Gakkel Ridge was associated with a measurable methane release as observed by NASA remote sensing satellites.

The 1999-2007 accelerated Arctic ocean sea ice melt rate was an indeed an anomalous event, but not in the way most climate scientists envision. It was at the time one of the primary rationalizations behind substantiating the atmospheric global warming “hockey stick” graph. A hockey stick graph that was in large part one of the reasons two Nobel Peace Prizes was awarded.

Funny how things sometime turn out. Who would have believed that a seemingly insignificant and very small hole in the Arctic sea ice could have such major implications: It’s not all about man-made atmospheric warming. Geological forces are alive and well in the Arctic ocean and for that matter across much of planet earth.

James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 41 years and who has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. Years of research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important driver of the Earth’s climate.




Comments (9)

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    It never made any sense to me that climate scientists seemed to totally disregard what goes on under 3/4 of the planet covered by water. About time they gave due consideration to its impact.

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    Why do things always have to be mutually exclusive? There’s nothing wrong with advocating geological forces as the cause of much of what goes on, but it does not automatically mean man-made global warming is a myth. They both contribute, and it’s also quite feasible that some geological activity is enhanced or caused by a warming planet.

    To what extend we contribute to this warming may be debatable, but the Keeling Curve, for example, clearly shows a huge recent jump in CO2 after 800,000 years of relative stability.

    As Internet searches will quickly reveal, there are other indicators that mankind has something to do with global warming. Even if the contribution were small, at the end of the day our own behavior is pretty much the only chance we have to do something about a worrying trend.

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      What worrying trend?

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        Michael Gersh


        The worrying trend of otherwise intelligent people who believe that we can alter our behavior to produce better weather.

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    This study, Observations of water masses and circulation with focus on the
    Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean from the 1990s to the late 2000s, concludes that the Gakkel ridge contributed to deep ocean heating. In a decade (till 2007) deep ocean water heated with 0.025C. The key question: is this enough to power the arctic internal waves that bring warm deep ocean water to 50 meters under the surface?

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    Man hs a very limited effect on CO@ which is the greatest hoax on the worlds under educated populations. In NASA space breathing systems that feed astronauts their air while in space, 800 parts per million is pumped into the closed system. This isn’t from used air, it is actually a calculated amount that is designed into the system.

    Since CO2 measurements have slightly risen it has been observed by satellites that the earth IS greening. I would offer to those of the green movement consider that a greening planet is their goal. To cut CO2 seems a bit stupid and akin to cutting off oxygen to a skin diver.

    In our green house we use a co2 generator to increase co2 for better pant growth.

    Any CO2 man contributes is a blessing to the greening of the planet. Plants love the stuff and it doesn’t hurt people.

    As far as Global warming goes, studies of sun spots, geology, ice coring samples where a multitude of sciences are overlaid one see’s massive cycles that happen over millions, 100’s of thousands, thousands. tens of thousands and even hundreds of years that can’t be seen by climatologists 30 years computer models. Your current local weather studies are tied to short term studies such as those used by Joe Bastardi, at http://www.weatherbell.com Joe is a great weather guy but his shortsightedness sometimes misses the point.

    Climate does change. It changes according to cycles that play against the magnetic moulton iron in earths core which causes shifts in magma flows. Theses shifts are the major causes (most often) in dramatic climate changes. As massive volcanic eruptions have taken place the greatest changes in the globes weather patterns have also taken place. These events seem to precede extreme cold events, in fact they seem to usher them in. But lets get back t the CO2 story. It has recently been discovered that C02 increases precede warm periods, It is also a fact that NASA is reporting a very significant drop in the suns activity and a major drop in sun spots. Sun spots throw our massive heat waves towards earth, thus providing warmth, a magnetic radiation envelop that protects us from other forms of radiation that right now we are being exposed to. The sun is going into a period of hibernation where it’s energy drops dramatically. Not an insignificant number of scientists are warning of a Maunder type cold period coming. Google Maunder ice age.

    I believe the deep sea volcanic activity has slowed down the coming cold. In 1970 a large group of scientists asked the UN for some time to warn the world of a coming ice age that they expected would be here in about 50 years. We have already seen signs of it’s appearance. See articles for this year and last years in http://www.iceagenow.info . Truly stunning.

    One can argue over daily, weekly, monthly or annual weather. You can even argue over a few decades, but one absolutely should not ignore cycles and patterns that have reappeared time after time over 100’s of thousands of years that reflect the exact anomaly’s we are seeing right now.

    To ignore these repeated events is like crossing a busy street where one car goes by and then you walk right out in front of the next car. One can see these events in earths record just as easily as one can see a line or cars on a busy street.

    Earth has spent more time as an icy cold globe than it has as a warm, lush, green life invigorating planet and it appears from all the historic records we can find it is about to start it’s next cold period.

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    It is not bad for the earth to be warm. Dinosaurs never lived on earth with polar ice caps. The heat and bright sun produced great fertility which in turn produced giant lizards and mega sharks. CO2 levels were much higher then than now. Why would I worry about that coming back. Who would ask for this ice age to continue? Plants grow much faster with more co2 in the air. There is one particular highly invasive species and we are not going to go on forever.

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    Ralph Gerwing


    [i]It is Cold up North[/i]
    My kid adventure, took me to Mackenzie King Island, in the Canadian North Islands. the theme was, let us see if the Arctic, is full of gas and oil, this was 1966, From Resolute Bay, we flew, North and East, the place was covered with old, timber logs, worn so smooth, and on the high ground. the temps were going up a few tents of a degree F. through 1967 / 71, and some places the sea ice was punched through with warmer water, melting the sea ice and bringing up nutrients, for the sea life. quite something, to the south and west, is a large petrified forest, all covered, by sediment all brought up to the surface by the sea upheaval, so it looks like the ice was higher, thousands of years, ago, a higher sea level, if you now go to Mackenzie King island, ” just saying the obvious ” rtg, YVR.ca

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